11 January 2013

Ottolenghi-inspired warming sweet potato and aubergine supper-very easy to make and perfect after a long winter's walk

Christmas gave me just the right excuse to treat myself to Ottolenghi's new book "Jerusalem" - based on his travels and his tv series "Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Feast." He explores the food of these amazing places- it all looks vibrant, colourful and mouth wateringly delicious! I haven't found another book yet where every page you turn to has such an appealing and easy to make recipe. 

It's one of those books that allowed me to sit for hours reading it, not realising just how long I'd been totally absorbed by it, a good way to put off revision!

I'd love to visit Jerusalem for myself and just spend a few weeks exploring its spices and original recipes that influence so much cooking across the rest of the world.

It introduced me to spices such as sumac( a slightly lemony spice) and za'atar ( a Middle Eastern blend of herbs) which I am going to trawl through the shops in search of. 
I'm determined to make some of his most beautiful recipes!

But in the mean time, I had a go at my own version of one of his  dishes:

Spicy, baked sweet potato and aubergine with goats cheese and a lemon and mint yoghurt raita

to serve 2


1 sweet potato 
1/2 an aubergine
1tsp cumin seeds
1tsp coriander seeds
1tsp paprika
sea salt and black pepper
good quality extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
a good French Chevre goats cheese, crumbled
natural yoghurt
1tbsp fresh mint, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200 °C (fan oven)
Roughly chop your sweet potato and aubergine with the skins on into bite-size pieces

Sweet potato is a real fave of mine- it has a much nuttier and richer taste than your standard tattie and is really nutritious- with a high level of vitamin A which makes it a skin superfood. 

In a large bowl, mix both the sweet potato and aubergine with a few good glugs of olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and season well.

In a pestle and mortar, grind together the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and paprika

Add a little extra olive oil to ensure the spices coat the veg and mix thoroughly with your hands 

Bake on baking paper on a baking tray in the preheated oven for about 30-40 mins until the sweet potato and aubergine are soft when skewered with a knife, and the skin coloured and crispy. (The aubergine may cook a bit quicker than the sweet potato as it tends to absorb a lot of oil, so just remove it from the oven a little earlier to prevent its skin from burning)

Meanwhile, make the yoghurt raita by adding the juice of half a lemon to half a large pot of natural yoghurt, a little black pepper and approx. 1tbsp of freshly chopped mint, stirring thoroughly. 

When baked, serve the deliciously sticky and spicy vegetable chips on a wooden board on top of a bed of watercress. I have used watercress and pea shoots but you could also use rocket.

Whilst still hot, crumble over the goats cheese to create a rich salty topping and serve next to a bowl of the yoghurt raita for dipping your chips in

This is my perfect kind of supper with a bit of spice and cooling yoghurt raita after a long winter's walk in the cold, and the new series of Miranda on the tele- what could be better!

The result of puppy enthusiasm in a muddy field!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's really appreciated and lovely to hear some feedback. Katie x